My stretching habits got me psyched!

Let me tell you how much my physique has improved by stretching daily. Sometime around the middle of fall 2020 I started implementing a night time routine. I wanted to be sleeping earlier, waking up earlier without an alarm, giving my eyes a good rest and setting myself up for a winning morning. Then I was like, alright well I need a solid morning routine too! (I'm a very go with the flow person, I never had proper routines for myself, just did what I want in the moments, usually). So , I wrote on a piece of paper, and stuck it to the corner of my mirror that I (still) look at every single day. It said:


How it started

!REMINDERS!


Morning:

1) Prayer/gratitude

2) Stretch

3) Visualize how you want your day to go



Evening:

1) Stretch

2) Prayer/gratitude

3) Eliminate devices 1hr before bed

4) Read a book






How it's going

In the evenings, I'd do a full hour of stretching and attempt different yoga poses. When I'd wake up, I'd do a quick 7 pose, 7 breather stretch, it didn't really take more than 7 minutes to complete. It was enough to get my blood flowing, loosen my joints + muscles and prepare my body for the day. The breathing part is equally important. It allows you to get a deeper stretch each time you inhale and exhale. The more I practiced this, the more in tune I felt with my body. I can feel my diaphragm expand on my deep inhales and feel my ab muscles tighten on the exhale. With every practice, I was also able to increase the length of my inhale and control the exhale slowly to match the tempo of my inhale. All of these little changes added to the way my body performed.

Since I've consistently made a habit of stretching every single day, I've made improvements in multiple areas.


Aside from flexibility, these are a few areas where I've noticed the most changes:


1) Posture - I have always had an anterior pelvic tilt. What made it worse was that I had very little core strength, so my weight wasn't distributing evenly and the pressure was on my lower back. Just walking for a long period would send pain through that deep valley and it would be on fire! Now with proper breathing and stretching, I have been slowly adjusting that tilt by focusing on bracing my core. For any activity - weight training, golf, walking - I've been keeping it tucked and tight to protect that back :) I also noticed that my head is less forward. You can see that posture predominantly in younger generations because of our attachment to phones and looking down at screens. This one is vital. You do not want to find yourself trying to undo a hunched back situation later in life. Bonus - when you walk around with better posture, you just exude confidence. I gained a lil pep in my step.


2) Squat depth - If it ain't ass to grass, are you really squatting? lol. I'm able to get a deeper squat and range of motion in squat position, like moving side to side without feeling like I might break my legs. My ankle mobility has increased massively. Strong ankles help build strong legs to build a strong back, etc. It's all a chain reaction when you start to improve in one area, it helps strengthen the rest.


3) Increased energy - Now this mainly transpired with the practice of breath work during my stretch sessions. Through proper breathing techniques, I've been able push past what I felt like was max effort during my workouts. One more round, one more rep, one more minute... I have more fire and energy to continue. Maximizing your breath technique can get you from hitting a plateau in your workout to finally seeing some amazing progress. I've been finding the tempo to match my movement.


4) Core Strength + Balance - Like I said in point 1, my core strength was weak. Now, I can confidently lift myself into a headstand or backbend without fear of falling backwards and injuring my back (which I've done before). A strong core and balance is so important, no matter what activities you're doing. It aligns your whole body. With that new found strength, balance, and alignment, I've noticed improvement in my golf swing too. I can wind back farther, hit the ball more consistently in the direction I want to go, and my distance has improved! Don't as me about my putting though, it's still bad.


5) No more mouth breathing - I'm serious, I think I've overcome this bad habit. I'm used to be someone who always fell asleep with their mouth open (+ eyes lol haven't fixed this part yet) and you know mouth breathing while sleeping tends to lead to drooling and also a dry throat overnight. My silk pillows are thanking me for this. Not to mention snoring. I can't vouch that I've completely stopped, and turned into a silent sleeper, but I used to wake up from my own snore! Now I don't. This is also something most people don't realize that they can fix with time, patience and practice. Switching your breath from mouth to nose can improve your health by increasing your lung capacity, properly filtering your air, prevent viral infections and improve your dental/jaw structure over time. Highly recommend!



Lesson: Just because you've always "been this way" doesn't mean you can't evolve. There are simple and effective ways to solve most problems. It just takes consistency, patience, and the will to want more for yourself and your health. All of these small improvements add up! You slowly begin to notice that you're capable of doing things you haven't been able to do. You break past your own limitations. I was stoked when I was able to lift myself into a bridge with my hands. Same thing with my headstands. I have way more control moving into different inverted poses. Of course I paired stretching with proper diet and daily exercise, but if you are overwhelmed with time and aligning all 3, I would start with this simple routine to just build the habit of stretching daily.


If you need guidance to build that habit of stretching, this is the daily practice that I started with :)


~Abundance + blessings to you~






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Hi, thanks for lending your eyes and reading!

I was always hesitant to start a blog because I always thought, "Who even cares to read this?". But guess what, I do! That's what matters most. Learn about why I started this journey :)

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